Graduate Art History Programs

The application deadline is December 15, 2018, 11:00pm CST.

(Online application forms are expected to be open by September 1, 2018)


Please do not send us ANY application materials by regular mail; the admissions process is entirely online. Applications and any application material submitted after this deadline will not be reviewed for admission. All application materials will be reviewed by the School of Art + Design Graduate Admissions Committee. Reviews will be finalized by mid-March, 2019. Applicants will be notified by email shortly after.


The application process is online. The application fee is $70 for domestic applicants and $90 for international applicants. The fee is paid by credit card. 

Eligible minority applicants may fill out a request through FreeApp to have their application fee waived.

 For important aspects of applying as an international student, please go here

Application material. Upload the following:

  1. Transcripts: Upload (unofficial) transcripts/academic records (and diplomas or certificates of degrees if your degree is awarded and not listed on your transcript).
  2. Letters of Recommendation:  Three letters of recommendation are required. All letters should be submitted online by the recommenders. In addition to evaluating the applicant's scholarly achievements and potential, letters should also address the applicant's maturity, dependability, and potential for teaching.
  3. Resume:  Include relevant employment, internships and teaching and research experience, awards, record of scholarship and publications. This information will assist in consideration for graduate fellowship awards and graduate appointment positions.
  4. Personal Statement:  This statement of 1000 words or less should describe your academic background and other relevant experience in relation to your academic interests and goals.
  5. Writing Sample:  The Art History Program requires a sample of academic writing for both Masters and PhD applicants. The writing sample should be a recent example of scholarly work demonstrating the applicant's strengths as a researcher and writer. Please limit the sample to 25 pages.
  6. GRE Scores:  Please note that you must request the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send official score reports to institution code 1836. GRE scores are valid for 5 years. The GRE exams are required for consideration for admission to both the MA and PhD Programs in Art History.
  7. For international and non-native English speaking applicants: TOEFL/IELTS test scores. For information about University English Proficiency requirements go here 
    • The School of Art + Design's English Proficiency Standards are higher than the general campus requirements: for Limited Status Admission we require a minimum total TOEFL score of 96 iBT, or a 6.5-7.0 IELTS score.
    • Test scores have to be dated after August 27, 2017.
    • Test scores have to be received by the admission deadline of December 15, 2018.
    • Students admitted on limited status will be required to take an English Placement Test (EPT) shortly after arrival on campus. Depending on the results of this test, Limited Status students may be asked to take additional English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Please be aware that ESL courses do not count toward degree requirements. 

Financial Aid and Funding

Many admitted applicants receive an offer of admission accompanied by a funding package.

International and/or non-native English speakers are considered for a funding package only when

1) they submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) speaking subsection test score of at least 22, or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) speaking subsection test score of at least 7.0, with tests dated after August 27, 2017. Test scores need to be submitted to school code 1836 by the deadline of December 15, 2018. This is required even when the applicant is exempt from showing these scores for admission purposes.

2) their admission application includes completed proof of funding paperwork, submitted by the deadline of December 15, 2018.


The types of financial support provided by the School of Art and Design are: 

  1. Graduate Fellowships:  These are competitive awards granted by either the School of Art + Design or the University of Illinois Graduate College to new incoming degree candidates who have demonstrated especially strong academic achievement and have outstanding future potential. The Graduate Review Committee in the School of Art + Design determines the candidates for review by the University Graduate College Fellowship Committee for all fellowship awards. Fellowship stipends range from $10,000 to $25,000 for the academic year and include a full waiver of tuition and a partial waiver of university campus fees.
  2. Graduate Assistantships:  Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions are available to students in good standing. Positions range from 25% to 33% time. Currently a nine-month 25% graduate appointment offers a stipend which is currently $8,548.561 (before taxes) for the academic year. The appointment requires 10 hours a week of service. The yearly stipend for a 33% position is $11,284.02 (before taxes) and requires 13.5 hours per week of service. All graduate appointments include a full waiver of tuition and a partial waiver of university campus fees